Outside of routine airworthiness directives, it was a slow week for regulations. In total, regulators added $128 million in costs, more than 730,000 burden hours, and no monetized benefits. Regulatory capital requirements and fire safety standards for Medicare and Medicaid providers led the week.
President Obama personally announced that at the close of the first open enrollment period 8 million Americans had signed up for coverage in the Affordable Care Act (ACAs) exchanges. He also took this opportunity for a full-throated defense of the ACA, arguing "I find it strange that the Republican position on this law is still stuck in the same place that it has always been. They still can't bring themselves to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working.”
The CBO estimates the deficit will be $1.6 trillion more under the President’s Budget than the administration claims.
Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of the President’s Budget for FY2015. This is an annual ritual whereby the CBO holds up the president’s policy proposals against the same yardstick that it measures legislation and other proposals that work their way through Congress. Critical differences typically emerge, and this year is no different.
The American Action Forum (@AAF) released new research on the impact of the Medicare Advantage (MA) cuts seniors will face in 2015 due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other government regulations.
The Fed released its beige book — a summary of on-the-ground observations in each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts — yesterday. The summary was simple: "Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest economic activity increased in most regions of the country since the previous report.
On April 7, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced payment formulas that will cut payments to Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans in 2015. These include already-scheduled cuts legislated in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as regulatory decisions that also affect these rates.
Polling indicates that the economy remains the top issue on voters’ minds. This is hardly surprising. The graph below compares the actual (red) performance of the economy (measured by Gross Domestic Product, GDP) from 1947 to 2013 with an estimate of the long-run economic trend over the same period.
On tax day, the American Action Forum (@AAF) analyzed the burden of the nation’s broken tax code for individuals. The AAF research finds the individual income tax generates 199 forms, requires Americans spending 2.6 billion hours filling out these forms, and spending $33.6 billion to comply. These figures are staggering for the 150 million Americans that file taxes.